This faith was her intellectual and spiritual taproot, and it deepened and spread outward in her with the years. Her real love for Christianity and for the Church as its guardian is inescapable in her letters, and so is her impatience with fatuity and obtuseness among Catholics. On the letter subject she is not so much astringent as withering. In her letters to an intelligent Jesuit friend, she would demolish the Catholic press and some Catholic education with a blast and, at the same time, ask a dispensation to read two author listed on the late, unlamented Index of proscribed works. She maintained throughout her life that the Church is no way impaired her true freedom, either in the practice of her art or in her personal life. She gladly honored the prerogatives claimed by the church, holding that what the church gave her far outweighed any demands it made in return. To the novelist John Hawkes, Flannery wrote, “There are some of us who have to pay for our faith every step of the way and who have to work out dramatically what it would be like without it and if being without it should ultimately be possible or not.” There is in her letters not a hint of deviation from her orthodox position, even in her mind. She says in so many word to one correspondent hat she has simply never doubted, or for a moment wanted to leave the fold.
Hace poco más de un año registré en el blog una anécdota narrada por la misma Flannery O’Connor a propósito del carácter de su fe:
Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.
That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.
O, por utilizar las palabras de Toomey:
O es realmente la carne y la sangre, o bien no lo es.